Eric Schaeffer (who staged Broadway's Putting It Together) will direct the musical about a boy searching for his place in the world. Ace, previously seen in regional productions directed by Stafford Arima, features book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker and music by Oberacker.
Performances will play the National Theatre March 18-30, 2008. A Broadway berth is hoped for "shortly thereafter," although no further details were announced.
"Set in the American heartland in 1952, Ace is the epic story of one young boy's search to come to terms with his past, find his place in the present, and unlock his future," according to the announcement. "When ten-year-old Danny Lucas receives a toy plane as an unexpected gift from his foster parents, a parallel world of dreamtime adventures begins to unfold. With an ace fighter pilot as his guide, Danny is transported back in time; flying into the gathering storm over Europe and the aerial dogfights of WWI, and soaring with the daring Tiger squadrons of WWII in the skies above Southeast Asia."
It's billed as "a tale of triumph, transcendence, humor and heart, through the prism of a child's eyes" that "magically explores the heroic lives and unforeseen legacies of the men and women of our greatest generations."
The show first premiered as part of the 2005 National Alliance for Musical Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in New York City. Since then, it has played in various incarnations at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (September 2006), the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (October 2006) and most recently at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre (January 2007). Helen Hayes Award winner Schaeffer is artistic director of the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. He directed the first national tour of Big the musical, and staged the West End musical, The Witches of Eastwick.
Casting for the National Theatre production of Ace is set to begin after Thanksgiving.
No further production or creative team information has been announced.
A theatrical producer and general manager, Tom Smedes' recent and current productions include the London productions of Side by Side by Sondheim and The Musical of Musicals (the Musical!); Dog Sees God: Confession of a Teenage Blockhead; The Waiting Room by Samm-Art Williams; The Women of Lockerbie with The New Group; 21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com, written and starring Mike Daisey prior to its international tour of London, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and Sydney; and People Are Wrong at The Vineyard Theatre. Smedes is also one of the producers of the record-breaking worldwide musical revue Naked Boys Singing!, now playing at New World Stages in New York City.